Premenstrual Syndrome is the combination of uncomfortable symptoms that women feel each month before the start of their period. These symptoms can affect your body and your mood. More than 200 symptoms have been linked to PMS. Different women have different combinations of symptoms. Some may have no symptoms at all. And the severity of symptoms may change from month to month
- Gaining weight and bloated stomach: this is one of the most common symptoms. Exercising, avoiding salt and eating smaller meals can help. You might also try a diuretic. But these are not recommended for long term use.
- Tender breasts: wearing a supportive bra can help.
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Pain in joints or muscles or headache: anti-inflammatory, non-steriod drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen may help. These work best when taken before the pain starts and then continued at consistent dosage times.
- Tiredness: over-the-counter PMS medications like Midol usually contain caffeine to perk you up (and as a diuretic) but be careful; caffeine may worsen symptoms in some women.
- Cramps: acetaminophen (Tylenol) may help those who have cramps and bloating.
Emotional and behavioral symptoms
Exercise has been shown to alleviate emotional and behavioral symptoms. Taking calcium may also help.
- Depression and mood swings
- change in appetite
- food cravings: eating smaller meals more often may also help.
- feeling withdrawn
- cant sleep
- cant concentrate
Relieve your overall PMS through lifestyle changes
By making changes and adjustments in your lifestyle you can relieve or eliminate some of your PMS symptoms. Try doing one or two at a time for a few months to see what works and what doesnt. Try to do away with, or at least limit, some of your bad habits like smoking, drinking too much and eating too much chocolate and salt. And reduce stress; you should probably do this anyway. Make sure you eat a balanced diet and get all the vitamins you need. You may find it helpful to keep a diary of what symptoms you have, their severity, and what days they happen. By keeping careful records you can keep track of your cycle and what is working or not working. If you cant alleviate your PMS symptoms on your own, you can bring this record to your doctor.
Some women have tried herbal remedies as well. Ginger, black cohosh, dandelion, evening primrose oil, raspberry leaf and chasteberry have been used to relieve PMS symptoms. If you try an herbal remedy, be sure to verify the quality of the herbs because herbs are not regulated by the FDA the way medications are.
Birth control pills
Your doctor may prescribe birth control pills to help alleviate some of your PMS symptoms. The pills make your cycle more regular, which helps your hormone levels to balance out. Sources: http://women.webmd.com/pms/premenstrual-syndrome-pms-topic-overview http://mayoclinic.com/health/water-retention/WO00130 http://women.webmd.com/pms/premenstrual-syndrome-pms-home-treatment